Primary Teachers’ Experiences of Teaching Pupils with Selective Mutism: A Grounded Theory Study

Williams, Claire, E. and Hadwin, Julie, A. and Bishop, Felicity, L. (2021) Primary Teachers’ Experiences of Teaching Pupils with Selective Mutism: A Grounded Theory Study. Educational Psychology in Practice. ISSN 1469-5839

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Selective mutism (SM) is typically identified in early childhood and is characterised by a lack of speech in specific social situations, usually at school. This study interviewed 11 teachers and used qualitative methods to develop an explanatory framework to represent the lived experience of teaching pupils with SM. Interviews were analysed using grounded theory methods. The final theoretical framework captured nine categories across five key processes (i.e. categorisation of teacher beliefs, the development and change in beliefs through a process of scientific enquiry, teacher efforts to support and monitor pupil progress, and management of teacher emotional responses), and four contextual factors (pupil characteristics, peer relationships, teacher self- identity and staff relationships). The findings highlighted a link between teacher categorisation of SM and pupil support. We discuss the implications of the framework for guiding research and educator practice to support pupils with SM.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article which will be published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on the 4th May 2021. Available online:
Keywords: Selective mutism; grounded theory; teacher perspective; pupil support.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Early Childhood
Depositing User: Julie Hadwin
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 08:48
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 10:40

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